Secondary school heads have opposed the government’s proposal to have clinics set up to offer medication to students closed.
The National Hospital Insurance Fund (NHIF) yesterday, Tuesday, September 10 directed hospitals that had set up outpatient medical services in schools to stop the services immediately and stopped payments to the school-based health facilities.
“You are therefore advised to withdraw any staff you may have stationed in any school to offer medical services on your behalf,” read a letter dated September 5th from NHIF to a health facility in Kisumu.
The move by the NHIF is said to have brought about confusion in schools, according to Kenya Secondary School Heads Association (Kessha) Chairman Kahi Indimuli.
Mr. Indimuli said that the closure of the outpatient facilities in schools has resulted in cases of indiscipline increasing as learners now take advantage of the situation to request to get out of the school compound.
“Schools not only spend a lot on ferrying sick students to hospitals frequently but in some cases, students have been exposed to insecurity,” said Mr. Indimuli.
“Learning is also disrupted most of the time, as students spend more time outside schools over ailments that can be managed within schools,” he added.
The move to close school clinics has equally been rebuked by Kuppet Secretary General Akello Misori who asked the Ministry of Education to come clear on the matter as organizing to send students to faraway hospitals not only eats into teaching time but exposes them to insecurity.
NHIF is tasked with the role of administering the government’s comprehensive medical scheme for secondary school students, which is being rolled out by the ministry of education.
Under the scheme, which will see every student paying 1,350 shillings per year, there will be an enhanced package for each student which includes services such as out-patient, in-patient, dental, optical, daycare, local ambulance, and emergency air rescue services, meant for complicated cases that cannot be treated in the country.